City OK’s $12.8M budget

The $12 million city budget is on the books. The Moab City Council considered the budget at their May 22 council meeting and passed it without changes.

The budget includes an $85,000 pot of money for community organizations. The city will develop an application process through which organizations can apply for the funds, said Lisa Church, communications director for Moab City.

Council Member Karen Guzman-Newton had several questions regarding items that had been cut from the budget. She noted that funds for police involvement with D.A.R.E. and the drug task force had been cut.

City Manager David Everitt said that D.A.R.E. has not been an active program for several years. Moab Police Chief Jim Winder added, “The DARE program, which I understand is a significant emotional attachment to many, from an evidence-based perspective has really been declining in its popularity and has been eliminated in most schools.”

As for the drug task force, Winder said what was really needed was joint cooperation between the city and the county. Winder said that the city and county are in conversations to initiate a cooperative effort and that going forward, funds may be needed. “I think in the future it would be very critical to segregate some funds for a joint effort … let’s take the detectives, put them together and start crushing crime together,” Winder said.

The city council also discussed funds set aside for the city’s share of the north end bicycle pathway extension and funds for the Mill Creek infrastructure improvements associated with the planned Utah State University campus.

There was some confusion over the purpose of the $450,000 USU set-aside.

“The impression that I always had … was that the city’s role and the county’s role was that outside infrastructure … and not necessarily developing of the physical buildings on the campus,” clarified Everitt.

The council is scheduled to have an in-depth briefing on USU campus progress during the workshop of their next scheduled council meeting.

ByBy Rose Egelhoff

The Times-Independent